2020 Food Predictions

Forecasters have already begun to predict the major trends that will impact the manufacture, sale and consumer purchasing of food in 2020. 

The biggest news comes from the 10th annual edition of Canada’s Food Price Report, which anticipates prices to increase by 2-4% in 2020. With the annual food cost for the average Canadian family expected to rise to an annual cost of $12,667, an increase of $487 from 2019. The greatest increases will occur in the meat category, where tariffs and trade-deals are expected to cause a 4-6% increase.

Good-bye Single-Use Plastics (SUPs)

As Canada moves towards the elimination of SUPs, Canadians are firmly on-board. A study by Dalhousie University found that 94% of those surveyed had a strong personal motivation to reduce consumption. Consumers are no longer satisfied with the prospect of recycling food-based packaging. 

Shoppers are embracing stores that offer bulk bins and those that permit consumers to use their own containers, but want to see more options. With this increasing awareness of the global climate crisis and the impact of single-use plastics consumers will continue to push manufacturers and retailers to develop more sustainable and green-packaging for food products. 

Grocers like Loblaws will be piloting trial programs with TerraCycle’s Loop initiative. The program offers a circular packaging solution where containers are re-used repeatedly. Sobeys will eliminate plastic grocery bags completely. Retailers may also look towards innovative compostable bags rather than clam-shell plastic for produce and other goods. 

Unfortunately, these innovations come at a cost and many consumers are not willing to pay more for alternative packaging. The challenge for retailers will be how to embrace more environmentally-friendly methodologies without jeopardizing their commitment to quality, product safety and their bottom line. 


Keto: The Next “Gluten-Free”?

In 2020, Canadians will continue to focus on nutrition, by opting for plant-based proteins, organic and “functional foods” such as those including probiotics. 

2019 was the year of the Keto diet and in 2020 these foods will continue to be on-trend. A recent poll conducted by Dalhousie University found that 26% of Canadians adopted, tried or considered trying keto during the past 18 months. Ketogenic-friendly products are entering the market in exponential numbers, and the market is forecasted to grow by about 5.5% per year reaching $15.6 billion USD in 2027. 

The popular diet dramatically reduces carbohydrate consumption while increasing intake of “good fats” and protein. Combined with intermittent fasting, the diet claims to provide a number of health benefits in addition to quick weight loss. The careful balancing of macro-nutrients and exclusion of healthy food items such as most whole grains, fruits and vegetables make it a difficult diet to sustain long-term.

Curious consumers may be trending instead towards products marketed as “Slow-carb” as a means of integrating “keto-friendly” products into a less restrictive diet. Traditional carbohydrates can cause quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. “Slow-carb” foods, by comparison, have a reduced impact on blood sugar and insulin levels and don’t cause the same spikes and surges. Many keto foods entering the market are now including a GI, or Glycemic Index number. This number corresponds to the impact on blood sugar after consumption, with lower numbers indicating a “slower” burn.

Trend-forecasters anticipate that Keto-friendly products, both those aimed at those following the strict regimen and those utilizing the more accessible slow-carb model, will continue to grow in demand. This trend looks like it may linger for years to come. Retailers should consider devoting shelf-space to these products and embracing these healthy foods as part of the mainstream. 











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